I was running Reddit Bodyweight Fitness' recommended routine for awhile, but I want to do more of a split so I can focus more on individual exercises and not feel as rushed. Currently I am thinking of doing:


  • Weighted pullups 5x5
  • Weighted inverted rows 4x8
  • Trap bar deadlift 3x5
  • Leg raises 3x15


  • Weighted pushups 5x5
  • Weighted dips 5x5
  • Military press 3x8
  • Barbell squats 5x5

I would like to build a lean but muscular and athletic physique. How might you tweak this plan? I am training 3x per week, every other day - should I train more frequently? Should I add/remove any exercises? Also, should I be alternating between pullups and chinups?

  • 1
    May be me being stupid but are these push pull not the wrong way around?
    – Twyxz
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 11:03
  • You don't actually say how frequently you're planning on following this routine...
    – Dark Hippo
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 9:02
  • See my edits. I am training 3x per week.
    – Someone
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


This is definitely not enough to build significant muscle if this is all you plan on doing. You need to add a third day at least and there's not enough variety in terms of volume and muscle groups. You are hitting back a lot here including triceps.

Lack Chest is a clear error here (maybe add some bench press), potentially not enough exercises either. If you want to build an athletic physique then you don't want to take a power lifting route, you've got half power lifting half Callisthenics so you have to pick on.

  • What would you add?
    – Someone
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 16:13

Lean but muscular means different things to different people - as does athletic (which discipline!?).

Your legs are being neglected and they're a big muscle group to omit. Do some squats which will make you look and feel much more balanced, as well as working your core. If you don't care much for strength or size consider overhead squats to focus those smaller muscles more. You might also consider learning to clean if your gym has the facilities, in my mind the less-heavy Olympic weightlifting athletes have the physique you describe, but that may not be your definition.

  • What would you add?
    – Someone
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 16:13
  • 1
    Both answers have suggested additions already. It would be easier if you told us what you mean by 'lean muscular athletic' - do you mean like a marathon runner? An Olympic weightlifter? A 100m sprinter? What bodyweight?
    – user6707
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 19:19
  • PUSH/PULL/LEGS would be a good way to go. I personally combine a rotation of heavier (less reps) compound lifts and then on the next go round, higher rep with other assistance lifts. There are many ways to approach this, and like the above question is asking, it depends on your actual goals. I think the length of time you've been lifting makes a significant difference too. If you are newer you could even do full body routines and hit muscle groups 3 times a week for a while and then move to a P/P/L split where you are hitting everything 2 times a week.
    – Jordan
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 22:19
  • If I did a PPL split, could I go just 3 times a week and then do cardio 3 times a week, or would I not make too many gains?
    – Someone
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 16:01

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